SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The health officers in six San Francisco Bay Area counties are not waiting to reach a threshold recommended by the governor, and have issued a new stay-at-home order to take effect on Sunday.
The changes, announced Friday, will last through Jan. 4.
The counties have not yet reached Gov. Gavin Newsom’s threshold that requires a stay-at-home order when 85% of ICU beds at regional hospitals are full.
But the health officers said the hospital system will be overwhelmed before the end of December, when Newsom’s order would apply to the Bay Area.
"The dark COVID winter that we feared would come has arrived in the Bay Area," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer according to KGO. "I and other county health officers in the Bay Area don't think we can wait for the state's new restrictions to go into effect later this month. We must act swiftly to save as many lives as we can. This is an emergency."
Restaurants, bars and wineries, and hair and nail salons will have to close, along with playgrounds. Restaurants would be able to do delivery or takeout. Retail stores can stay open, however they must lower capacity to 20%.
Schools that have already received a waiver to reopen can stay open next week. All "critical infrastructure" can also remain open.
Gatherings of any size are banned.
The six counties include some of the most populous areas of the state, including Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Francisco County and Santa Clara County.